Not all answers to the drug problem are found with the police or in courts, even though they will remain the first defense, Gov. Norm Bangerter told a state drug summit Thursday.
Bangerter and other state and federal drug enforcement officials addressed about 250 law enforcement officials, prosecutors and judges at a first-ever Criminal Justice Drug Summit that began in Park City Thursday. He said the agencies in the state need to work together and jointly devise a system to address the statewide problem of drug trafficking and use.Forming such a plan was a reason for the governor's drug summit. "The key is to have a forum for key players," he said. "Then we've got to have a plan of action."
The plan should include a demand-reduction strategy. "To do this we need the best talents of law enforcement, education, churches, schools and most important of all - families."
Family support for the illicit drug control effort was also stressed by William Alder, chief of congressional relations for the Drug Enforcement Administration. "Our children shouldn't have to look any farther than across the dinner table for a role model," he said.
If non-users, especially children, can be given correct information about illegal drugs; and if they can see that illegal drug use brings negative consequences, the problem will lessen, Alder said.
Negative consequences for youths may include the loss of a driver's license. For adults it may be the real likelihood of facing jail time or stiff fines for trafficking or using drugs.